As we are approaching the end of year, how is your dental practice marketing plan for next year going ?
I trust you are busy with the fast approaching end of year tasks of most dentists–preparing for the holidays, multiple “free” days and some planning for next year. If you are like most that last item “planning for next year” probably needs more attention than it’s routinely given.
A number of our Elite Program members will be developing, finalizing and reviewing with each other this year’s promotion plans next week at a live meeting here in Miami. One of the reasons they’ll be doing this is because they’ll be in a room holding each other accountable for their dental practice marketing plan for next year and simply because they’ve budgeted a day to be away from distraction in order to focus.
Remember physical maps? Not that long ago, we all still used them. I lived by the Thomas Guide since I hated not knowing where I was going. AAA would help you by sending you a map with your route highlighted BY HAND!–no doubt they still do such for thousands who are frozen in time without the know how to operate a computer.
Then came computerized directions like Mapquest (print them out ahead of time and follow the steps!). Now, instead of a ‘chicken in every pot’ it’s a GPS unit in every car and phone with the former in about a decade going from high-tech to antiquated thanks to the later.
While getting lost is practically a thing of the past, people still manage to be late and be sporadic about which planning gets attention.
The annual dental practice marketing plan for your practice really is a map. You’ll likely make detours during the year based on lots of factors BUT without the map, it’s guaranteed that opportunities will slip by and you’ll be more easily distracted by random stuff that doesn’t fit into communicating to the public the services you do best or want to do more of.
I used to be shocked at how many practices are “driving blind” without mapping out their promotion for the months and year ahead. Failure to do such, is akin to getting in the car after landing in some foreign destination where you don’t even know how to say hello and thank you and driving off “hoping for the best.”
The driving blind part no longer is shocking and I was reminded of WHY recently while reading a summary on the history of management theory that included something Maslow (yes…the needs “pyramid” psychologist) discerned in his studies which was the fact that “people are inherently lazy” and the quest of all management (be it of YOURSELF or of others) is to develop habits and tricks that counter that natural human tendency. THAT includes the annual dental practice marketing plan.
Here’s a practical approach to counter the inherent tendency in yourself to not do something that’s important. Block at least a half day (for the ambitious make that a day) to plan for how you will ethically sell and promote next year. Some plan is better than none at all….
To get more ideas on how to do better in your particular dental practice market, why not check out my book on Amazon or visit my website here.